Supreme Court of New Jersey Decisions 2019

New Jersey v. Williams  
Date: December 11, 2019
Docket Number: a-33-18

Justia Opinion Summary: The victim and his friend “Craig” had previously purchased oxycodone from a supplier, “John.” On this occasion, John had no supplies, but referred the victim to defendant Earnest Williams. When Craig and the victim arriv...

Brenda Miller v. State-Operated School District of the City of Newark
Date: November 4, 2019
Docket Number: a-52-18
In the Matter of Registrant G.H.
Date: October 29, 2019
Docket Number: a-38-18
Minsavage v. Board of Trustees, Teachers' Pension and Annuity Fund  
Date: October 24, 2019
Docket Number: a-48-18

Justia Opinion Summary: David and Christine Minsavage were married and had four children. David had served as a math teacher for more than twenty-four years when he was diagnosed with terminal stage IV pancreatic cancer in August 2014. In Novem...

State v. Shangzhen Huang
Date: October 23, 2019
Docket Number: a-62-18
Orientale v. Jennings  
Date: September 23, 2019
Docket Number: a-43-17

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Barbara Orientale brought a personal-injury lawsuit against defendant Darrin Jennings for allegedly setting off an automobile accident that caused her to suffer permanent injuries. The trial court entered parti...

Rowe v. Bell Gossett Company  
Date: September 11, 2019
Docket Number: a-16-18

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs Ronald and Donna Rowe filed an asbestos product liability action alleging that Ronald contracted mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos-containing products sold by defendants. Plaintiffs settled thei...

New Jersey v. Patel  
Date: August 7, 2019
Docket Number: a-13-18

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2015, defendant Charudutt Patel was charged in two separate instances with DWI. Patel had twice before been convicted of DWI. Because of the passage of more than ten years between the first and second convictions, Pat...

New Jersey v. Liepe  
Date: August 6, 2019
Docket Number: a-7-18

Justia Opinion Summary: After drinking six to ten beers, defendant William Liepe drove his Ford Explorer at approximately 1:00 p.m. Traveling at about forty-five miles per hour, defendant struck the rear end of a Honda Accord waiting to make a...

New Jersey v. Cuff  
Date: August 6, 2019
Docket Number: a-79-17

Justia Opinion Summary: The State indicted defendant Keith Cuff for fifty-five offenses arising from five residential robberies and an additional incident in which defendant stole a vehicle while attempting to escape from a traffic stop. A jury...

New Jersey v. Camey  
Date: August 1, 2019
Docket Number: a-73-17

Justia Opinion Summary: In September 2013, the Passaic Police Department received a 9-1-1 report of a brutally beaten body of a woman, later identified as “Katie,” in a wooded area near a river bank behind a ShopRite store. Sergeant Bordamonte,...

J.H. v. RM Tagliareni  
Date: July 31, 2019
Docket Number: a-6-18

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2010, a nine-month-old infant, J.H., suffered permanent scarring when he was burned by an uncovered, free-standing cast iron loop radiator in an apartment owned and managed by defendants R&M Tagliareni, LLC, and Rober...

New Jersey v. Fowler  
Date: July 30, 2019
Docket Number: a-5-18

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendants Joey Fowler and Jamil Hearns were convicted by jury of murder. According to the State, Hearns walked up to the victim and, in an act of revenge, shot him at point-blank range. Hearns then returned to Fowler’s...

US Masters Residential Property (USA) Fund v. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection  
Date: July 29, 2019
Docket Number: a-78-17

Justia Opinion Summary: When a toxic disaster hits, claimants could seek relief in the form of assistance from the New Jersey Spill Fund by following promulgated claims procedures. In order to resolve disputes over denied Fund monies quickly an...

New Jersey v. L.H.  
Date: July 22, 2019
Docket Number: a-59-17

Justia Opinion Summary: The primary issue before the New Jersey Supreme Court in this appeal was whether the interrogation techniques that included false promises of leniency induced defendant L.H. to confess to two alleged sexual assaults and...

Chiofalo v. New Jersey  
Date: July 16, 2019
Docket Number: a-30-18

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Frank Chiofalo, a then-member of the New Jersey State Police (NJSP), filed a complaint under the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) against his employer and certain supervisors (collectively, defendan...

In the Matter of Joseph Peter Barrett
Date: July 15, 2019
Docket Number: d-126-17
T.L. v. Goldberg  
Date: June 20, 2019
Docket Number: a-11-18

Justia Opinion Summary: T.L. consulted Dr. Jack Goldberg for a blood condition. In October 2010, Dr. Goldberg told T.L. about a new medication, Pegasys. After taking Pegasys, T.L. experienced a number of symptoms, but Dr. Goldberg advised that...

New Jersey v. Tillery  
Date: June 20, 2019
Docket Number: a-37-17

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Kareem Tillery was convicted of second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon and a fourth-degree offense. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on the remaining charges against him. The trial court sentenced...

New Jersey v. McNeil-Thomas  
Date: June 18, 2019
Docket Number: a-77-17

Justia Opinion Summary: In May 2011, an off-duty Newark police officer was shot and killed at a Texas Fried Chicken and Pizza Restaurant, known as the “chicken shack.” Defendant Rasul McNeil-Thomas was convicted by a jury of shooting the office...

In the Matter of Corey Corbo  
Date: June 17, 2019
Docket Number: a-72-17

Justia Opinion Summary: Officer Corey Corbo became gravely ill while at home with his girlfriend and colleague, Officer Jessica Garcia. Garcia called 9-1-1 and later admitted that Corbo had ingested cocaine five days earlier. The paramedics rus...

Goffe v. Foulke Management Corp.  
Date: June 5, 2019
Docket Number: a-3-4-18

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue were claims of fraudulent sales practices by two car dealerships that allegedly induced consumers to enter into agreements for the purchase of cars. The question presented for the New Jersey Supreme Court’s revi...

Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.  
Date: June 4, 2019
Docket Number: a-49-17

Justia Opinion Summary: In April 2007, Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada received an application for a $5 million insurance policy on the life of Nancy Bergman. The application listed a trust as the sole owner and beneficiary of the policy....

New Jersey v. Hyland  
Date: June 3, 2019
Docket Number: a-29-18

Justia Opinion Summary: On a night in March 2016, defendant Susan Hyland was driving an automobile, and struck and killed sixteen-year-old Q.T., then fled the scene. She was indicted on three counts. The Prosecutor’s Office recommended against...

New Jersey v. Johnson  
Date: May 30, 2019
Docket Number: a-58-17

Justia Opinion Summary: This appeal arose from defendant Davon Johnson’s unsuccessful application for pretrial intervention (PTI), filed in anticipation of his indictment for third-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) wit...

New Jersey v. Rodriguez  
Date: May 21, 2019
Docket Number: a-80-17

Justia Opinion Summary: In consolidated appeals, defendants were convicted of fourth-degree operating a motor vehicle during a period of license suspension for driving while intoxicated (DWI) under N.J.S.A. 2C:40-26. The issue presented was whe...

New Jersey v. Ferguson  
Date: May 20, 2019
Docket Number: a-8-9-18

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Shameik Byrd sold heroin to defendants Noel Ferguson and Anthony Potts in Paterson, New Jersey. Afterwards, Ferguson and Potts returned to their home state of New York where they sold the heroin they purchased...

R.A. Feuer v. Merck Co., Inc.
Date: May 15, 2019
Docket Number: a-34-18
New Jersey in the Interest of D.M.  
Date: May 14, 2019
Docket Number: a-30-17

Justia Opinion Summary: The State of New Jersey charged fourteen-year-old D.M. with delinquency based on conduct which, if committed by an adult, would constitute first-degree aggravated sexual assault. The State alleged D.M. committed acts of...

State v. Dwight M. Nelson
Date: May 8, 2019
Docket Number: a-60-17
Frances Green v. Monmouth University
Date: May 7, 2019
Docket Number: a-63-17 advanced the University's educational purpose. See id. at 561 (Fisher, J., dissenting). “[A]ssuming the truth of plaintiff's factual ...
Sandra Woytas v. Greenwood Tree Experts, Inc.
Date: May 6, 2019
Docket Number: a-31-18 SOLOMON, J., writing for the Court. In this appeal, the Court first considers whether Timothy G. Woytas breached the Marital Settlement Agreement ...
State v. Nathan N. Shaw
Date: May 3, 2019
Docket Number: a-33-34-16 TIMPONE, J., writing for the Court. In this case, the Court considers whether evidence found in a motel room and vehicle and defendant Nathan ...
State v. Isiah T. McNeal
Date: May 2, 2019
Docket Number: a-14-18 PER CURIAM Defendant Isiah T. McNeal entered into a plea agreement as a global resolution of the numerous indictments returned against him.
Garden State Check Cashing Service, Inc. v. State of New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance
Date: May 1, 2019
Docket Number: a-1-18 TIMPONE, J., writing for the Court. The New Jersey Check Cashers Regulatory Act of 1993 (Act) generally prohibits the licensure of check cashing ...
Beryl Zimmerman v. Sussex County Educational Services Commission
Date: April 30, 2019
Docket Number: a-75-17 LaVECCHIA, J., writing for the Court. Within New Jersey's education statutes, the Tenure Act provides that tenured teachers shall not be ...
Patricia J. McClain v. Board of Review, Department of Labor
Date: April 29, 2019
Docket Number: a-52-65-17 ALBIN, J., writing for the Court. Under New Jersey's Unemployment Compensation Law (UCL or Act), N.J.S.A. 43:21-1 to -71, an employee terminated ...
Gonzalo Chirino v. Proud 2 Haul, Inc.
Date: April 25, 2019
Docket Number: a-15-18
New Jersey v. A.M.  
Date: April 1, 2019
Docket Number: a-76-17

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue this case presented for the New Jersey Supreme Court was whether defendant A.M., who spoke limited English, waived his constitutional right against self-incrimination pursuant to the Fifth Amendment. A.M. was c...

Piscitelli v. City of Garfield Zoning Board of Adjustment  
Date: March 27, 2019
Docket Number: a-68-17

Justia Opinion Summary: The ethical mandate in N.J.S.A. 40A:9-22.5(d), prohibiting planning and zoning board members from hearing cases when cases of personal interest "might reasonably be expected to impair [their] objectivity or independence...

Haines v. Taft  
Date: March 26, 2019
Docket Number: a-13-14-17

Justia Opinion Summary: In a consolidated appeal, the New Jersey Supreme Court considered one central issue: whether the New Jersey Legislature intended to deviate from its highly regulated no-fault system of first-party self-insurance to cover...

Caraballo v. City of Jersey City Police Department  
Date: March 25, 2019
Docket Number: a-71-17

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Frank Caraballo joined the Jersey City Police Department (JCPD) as a police officer in February 1973 and became a detective in 1977. While on duty in August 1999, Caraballo sustained injuries to his hands, back...

New Jersey v. Vincenty  
Date: March 11, 2019
Docket Number: a-40-17

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Adrian Vincenty argued two detectives failed to inform him of the criminal charges filed against him when they interrogated him and asked him to waive his right against self-incrimination. Relying on New Jersey...

Dimitrakopoulos v. Borrus, Goldin, Foley, Vignuolo, Hyman and Stahl, P.C.  
Date: March 7, 2019
Docket Number: a-46-17

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2005, Evangelos Dimitrakopoulos retained the law firm of Borrus, Goldin, Foley, Vignuolo, Hyman and Stahl, P.C. ("Borrus firm"), for help with a business dispute with Steven Eleftheriou. Represented by the Borrus firm...

In the Matter of Yaron Helmer
Date: March 6, 2019
Docket Number: d-17-17
New Jersey v.Miller  
Date: February 20, 2019
Docket Number: a-70-17

Justia Opinion Summary: Michael Miller was convicted of possessing and distributing over 900 images and videos of child pornography through the use of online peer-to-peer file-sharing programs. He was also in possession of thirty-three CDs and...

Kocanowski v. Township of Bridgewater  
Date: February 19, 2019
Docket Number: a-55-17

Justia Opinion Summary: Seventeen-year veteran volunteer firefighter Jennifer Kocanowski was injured in the line of duty. She applied and was denied temporary disability benefits because she did not have outside employment. In this appeal, the...

New Jersey v. Chisum  
Date: February 5, 2019
Docket Number: a-35-36-17

Justia Opinion Summary: Police officers responded to a noise complaint at a motel room and determined not to issue a summons when the renter of the room immediately complied with their request to turn down the music. Police nevertheless conduct...

New Jersey v. Brown  
Date: February 4, 2019
Docket Number: a-23-24-17

Justia Opinion Summary: One week after defendants’ murder trial began, after counsel made opening statements and examined four of the State’s witnesses, the prosecutor turned over to defense counsel nineteen reports that were in the State’s pos...

All The Way Towing, LLC v. Bucks County International, Inc.  
Date: January 24, 2019
Docket Number: a-66-67-17

Justia Opinion Summary: In this appeal, plaintiffs, an individual and his limited liability towing company, entered into a contract for the purchase of a customized medium-duty 4x4 truck with autoloader tow unit. Ultimately, the truck did not p...

New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency v. A.S.K.
Date: January 23, 2019
Docket Number: a-50-17
Kaminskas v. New Jersey  
Date: January 17, 2019
Docket Number: a-31-17

Justia Opinion Summary: Lieutenant John Kaminskas and Chief Daniel Vaniska, both members of the Union County Police Department, requested defense and indemnification by the Office of the Attorney General in a civil action brought against them f...

Kernahan v. Home Warranty Administrator of Florida, Inc.  
Date: January 10, 2019
Docket Number: a-15-17

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Amanda Kernahan purchased a “home service agreement” from defendants Home Warranty Administrator of Florida, Inc., and Choice Home Warranty. When she became dissatisfied, she filed a complaint in Superior Court...

In the Matter of the Expungement of the Arrest/Charge Records of T.B.
Date: January 8, 2019
Docket Number: a-18-19-20-1 RABNER, C.J., writing for the Court. Drug court is designed to rid participants of drug dependency, help them develop skills and get job ...
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